United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee helps Team USA succeed by building a better digital HQ with Tableau and Salesforce

Used Tableau and Customer 360 to evaluate athletes, build performance plans, and streamline operations

Integrated key marketing data about the organization's huge fan base into Marketing Cloud to support campaigns

Incorporated Tableau visualizations into Nonprofit Cloud to increase engagement and improve the donor experience

Team USA, the collective name for referring to all national sports teams representing the United States in international competitions, is among the most respected and influential leaders in the world of sports. The brand comprises nearly 100 teams that compete in the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, and other international competitions including soccer, basketball, hockey, baseball, and golf.

Operational support for Team USA comes from U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), founded in 1895 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The USOPC's mission is to empower Team USA athletes to achieve sustained competitive excellence and well-being by championing the integrity of sport, and by promoting and protecting athletes’ rights, safety, and wellness. As part of this mission, the committee has put an emphasis in recent years on digitally transforming all areas of its operations. This includes continuously seeking new ways of quickly consolidating, analyzing, and sharing data as efficiently as possible. As part of collaborating with Salesforce, they discovered early on the combined power of Tableau and the Salesforce Customer 360 to provide robust analytics and data visualization at scale, along with powerful governance and privacy controls.

The first team to adopt Tableau at USOPC was its international competitive analysis team. “We had just acquired a comprehensive competition results database, and we were looking for the most efficient and effective way to analyze, visualize, and understand the data,” said Team USA. “Most other tools had visualization capabilities, but we needed a tool that put visualization first.”

Harnessing these capabilities in Tableau helped eliminate manual processes and provided key decision makers with dashboard views into data to drive new strategic initiatives. The USOPC currently has around 65 Tableau power users and is partway through an organization-wide rollout of a Customer 360 solution including Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP). Use of Tableau is most prominent in three of the USOPC's business units: logistics, scouting, and training for athletes; marketing performance management; and fundraising. Capabilities like tailoring a single dashboard to multiple individuals' needs make it easy for people to share insights and understand data in new ways relating to their task at hand.

Recent innovations in data capture through tracking, tagging, and wearables have given athletes more data‒driven feedback than ever before. In many cases, athletes and coaches have the data to compare competition to training, and now know what benchmarks need to be hit to perform at their best.

For example, the Athlete Scouting dashboard uses quantitative data—such as historical data, data made available by each sport's governing organization, and data ingested from video of a game or match—to evaluate an athlete's performance and assess how they compare with their top competitors. From this dashboard, the USOPC can generate scouting reports and performance plans by identifying areas of strength and opportunities for improvement.

“From the start, the interactive and intuitive interface Tableau gave us was a game changer, allowing us to consolidate and share our work with little to no effort,” said Team USA. “The ability for automatically updating reports to reflect real-time data changes also freed up so much time for our small but mighty analyst crew, so they could spend their time on other important initiatives.”

Another dashboard helps untangle the many logistics athletes face related to travel and attendance at events, including who's made the team, whether they have current passports and headshots, and what lodging facilities are available for them to stay at after they arrive. During the COVID-era, at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the logistics requirements expanded to include movement tracking, not just for the athletes but also for apparel, equipment, and other essential items. For all of these undertakings, the team relied on Tableau visualizations to streamline the information and keep track of progress, with vizzes projected onto walls throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Village.

Meanwhile, the committee's public-facing business uses engagement metrics to track the many diverse members of the Team USA fan base across more than 50 sports and 90 disciplines, and applies this data in part to qualify superfans for targeted notifications and promotions. To manage this effort and optimize marketing performance across all channels, the USOPC built a Daily Marketing Dashboard and various social media tracking dashboards that visually portray all marketing activity and enable drilling down into user segments and specific campaigns. The dashboards incorporate Salesforce Marketing Cloud capabilities for sending targeted emails, such as alerts about favorite athletes being named to the team.

Using Salesforce and Tableau helps us better understand our donors and prospects in an actionable way, and that success leads to more opportunities for the athletes and programs we support.

“We have an incredible opportunity and obligation to understand out fans' interests, preferences, and behaviors, so we can provide them with the best content and experience leading up to, during, and after events,” said Team USA. “Salesforce gives us new power to harness a massive amount of fan data to infer those interests, and to serve those personalized experiences at scale.”

On the fundraising side, the USOPC recently incorporated Tableau visualizations into Nonprofit Cloud to increase user and donor engagement for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Foundation, the nonprofit that serves as Team USA's primary source of funding. This process consolidated data analysis for fundraising into a single interface, doing away with the need to track multiple applications in order to see the big picture. USOPC also added an interactive, map-based tool that helps users visualize how fundraising prospects are segmented, further streamlining and boosting the business unit's productivity.

“Using Salesforce and Tableau helps us better understand our donors and prospects in an actionable way, and that success leads to more opportunities for the athletes and programs we support,” said Team USA. Overall, this spirit of going all-in with cutting edge CRM analytics and visualization has helped transform the USOPC and Team USA into a digital HQ where decisions are made and activities are conducted with a data-first mindset and a common language that unites and empowers all collaborators to achieve great things.